Becoming Mrs. Lewis

Becoming Mrs. Lewis

A Novel : the Improbable Love Story of Joy Davidman and C. S. Lewis

Book - 2018
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When poet and writer Joy Davidman began writing letters to C. S. Lewis--known as Jack--she was looking for spiritual answers, not love. Love, after all, wasn't holding together her crumbling marriage. Everything about New Yorker Joy seemed ill-matched for an Oxford don and the beloved writer of Narnia, yet their minds bonded over their letters. Embarking on the adventure of her life, Joy traveled from America to England and back again, facing heartbreak and poverty, discovering friendship and faith, and against all odds, finding a love that even the threat of death couldn't destroy. In this masterful exploration of one of the greatest love stories of modern times, we meet a brilliant writer, a fiercely independent mother, and a passionate woman who changed the life of this respected author and inspired books that still enchant us and change us. Joy lived at a time when women weren't meant to have a voice--and yet her love for Jack gave them both voices they didn't know they had. At once a fascinating historical novel and a glimpse into a writer's life, Becoming Mrs. Lewis is above all a love story--a love of literature and ideas and a love between a husband and wife that, in the end, was not impossible at all.
Publisher: Nashville, Tennessee :, Thomas Nelson,, [2018]
ISBN: 9780785224501
Branch Call Number: FIC Call
Characteristics: 406 pages : maps ; 25 cm


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A ersatz biography written in the first person, well researched and well written. However I never did connect with the character of Joy. She was a woman of her time, as the author says, "trying to live an authentic life". As a non-theist I could not relate to her search for meaning in a relationship with a personal god. I love the C.S. Lewis children's books as myth but I take no inspiration from his spiritual pursuits.
So not my kind of book, not my kind of characters, but there is certainly an audience out there who would find comfort and inspiration from this book.

May 03, 2020

This book of fiction inspired by the relationship between Joy Davidman and C.S. Lewis is a gem. It is beautifully written and well researched by author Patti Callaghan. I could not put it down. The book contains additional materials and discussion questions for book clubs. Highly recommended.

Feb 04, 2020

Come on people if you read something this good, leave a comment! Henry did an amazing amount of research to pull this together. Hope she does a lot more historical novels!
It's about C.S. Lewis so you know it's deep. But keep reading. It's full of their humor and intelligence. And you want to see these people go the distance!

But do you know Joy Davidman (Lewis) or her writing? Joy was a talented writer who had 2 sons she adored and was trapped in an abusive marriage with a man who could not or would not be faithful. She financially had no way to leave, in fact, she supported the family! And she became more! Lewis said of Joy, "My pupil and my teacher. My subject and my sovereign. My trusty comrade, friend, ship mate, fellow soldier. My mistress. But at the same time all that any man friend has ever been to me." I thought that last comment was the best compliment! This is not some sappy sentimental story about the little woman who supported her husband like a doormat in the 50's. These are rounded out awesome people who really had ups and downs and lived honorable lives with lots of love!

From a different perspective, you can follow the timeline of what was happening in their lives as they wrote some of the most memorable things you have ever been exposed to in our culture. You may want to read or reread some of those again! He met her before he published The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. They co-wrote and worked together on several things. Til We Have Faces was one of those. I have to read that! This is literally the behind the scenes story! What people!

It begs the question, what or who do I base my identity on in my life?

JCLCherylMY May 14, 2019

This was a beautiful story based on the relationship of C.S. Lewis and Joy Davidman. A wonderful historical fiction read. It prompted me to look up more details about their relationship. Highly recommended.

ontherideau Mar 25, 2019

Historical fiction based on the lives of Joy Davidman and C.S. Lewis, this is also a story of the woman behind the man. Their faith and genuine love is remarkable. There is a list of further suggested reading as well as a discussion guide for book clubs.

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